Category Archives: News

Check out this interview with the coordinator of ENGINEER, Maya Halevy.

ENGINEER: It’s not enough for children to look into screens – they must continue to learn science with their hands

Bringing science closer to the population is what Maya Halevy has being doing for the last 30 years. In this Q&A she talks about expanding her image to all of Europe and changing the way we teach.

Maya Halevy, Director of Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem, has been at the heart of building an interactive science venue for Israel since 1983.

As coordinator of ENGINEER, an EU funded project, Maya’s aim is to introduce innovative methods of science teaching to Europe.

As background, only 12 per cent of all university and college graduates in Europe major in engineering – a figure that dropped by two per cent since 2000. Here, the project’s coordinator, Maya Halevy, spoke with Science|Business about how ENGINEER attempts to address the shortfall in engineering education in Europe.

Éanna Kelly, Science|Business

To read the interview with Maya Halevy, click here

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher training in Germany

December – Announcement of teacher training sessions in Germany. The Deutsches Museum Bonn announced teacher training for primary school teachers for the first time. Expectations were high due to what the other countries had reported about their experiences. How many teachers would be interested? Just before Christmas: Only 10 teachers… But immediately after the winter holidays we weren’t able to meet the demand from teachers and schools.
January – Packing kits, printing out teacher guides. Thanks to our partner school we had a little space in the cellar for material and packing kits. But only 20 boxes could be filled at once. 20 could be deposited at the museum. So we were able to prepare 40 kits and continue if necessary.
Photo Kit
February – The first teacher training started with a small group of 10 teachers. It was a perfect size for the first time. All of them went home happy and satisfied. Now one teacher training per week is taking place until April in the Deutsches Museum Bonn. We have several different groups: Teachers all coming from one school; teacher trainees full of ideas, young and inspired; teachers from different schools together in one training session. One of them reflected last time: “Now I am motivated to be more open in organizing my lessons and let the pupils develop their own ideas.”
A group of experienced teachers, who develop teacher trainings and school units on inquiry-based learning themselves, visited one of our teacher training sessions on February 20, 2014
Photo 11.2.2014
We – Evelyn, Sebastian, Fiona and Miriam – will be happy when it´s Easter and we have holidays to relax. But we are grateful for all the helpful, insightful and cooperative feedback that teachers have given us. “I want to go to school and begin with the unit tomorrow” a young teacher commented. “With the teacher guide, the kit and the teacher training I’m so well prepared, that I could start immediately.”

Lehrerfortbildung_Engineer

Teacher training in Greece

The teacher training in Greece was completed successfully in January 2014. 32 teachers participated in the three workshops that took place at the premises of Eugenides Foundation, in Athens. The first two workshops (November – December 2013) focused on the teaching the Greek unit in the school class while the third workshop (January 2014) on the training of teachers’ trainers.
The teachers were trained mainly on the Greek challenge titled “High and dry: Protecting objects on a floating platform’’. The task was to build a floating platform that would carry a small number of objects across the water channel. Teachers were at first introduced to the concepts of “Engineering” and “Technology» and also to the ENGINEER Design Process (EDP) through various workshop activities such as ‘’Engineering an Envelope’’ or ‘’Stable Table’’. Afterwards, the structure of the Greek teaching unit was presented as well as the knowledge background relevant to the science topics (forces, buoyancy etc). As a result, teachers activated pre-existing knowledge or acquired additional scientific knowledge that was useful for tackling the challenge. To prepare themselves, teachers participated actively in the design process of the unit and other hands-on activities and experiments. In addition, a thorough demonstration of the Israeli Challenge “ready steady blow” took place as well as a brief overview of the other 8 challenges was presented. Some of the participants were trained to introduce this unit to other teachers. The training process was supported by two science educators from the museum (Eugenides Foundation) as well as the teacher from the partner school (Moraitis School). The teacher’s guide and the Trainings handbook supported sufficiently the whole teaching process.
The trained teachers will apply the challenge in their school classes from January 2014 to March 2014.

teacher-training-_grecce

Workshop

On November the 22nd, 2014, at Sheldwich School, Kent, UK, the Science oxford Museum was presented during a two-hour workshop that tackled the different approaches of STEM school development. It explored how ENGINEER resources could be used as part of its development. The UK aeronautic engineering unit was provided as a case study and the session was also used as a pilot for the UK teacher training.

CONFERENCES

The Teknikens Hus Museum participated in a conference at the National Agency for Education, on December the 18th, 2013 in Stockholm. The speaker talked about the project and its contribution to the Swedish schools and teachers. They also showed the ENGINEER homepage and pointed out that the 10 units – each museum’s activities can be downloaded for free. They also met with IA Envall, leader of education counsel and Paula Starbäck, education counsel at the National Agency for Education in Sweden, as well as Lena Embertsen, director of the Swedish Science Center association.

This conference was extremely interesting since we had the possibility to hand over advocacy – and informative in general – material.

 

The Science Oxford Museum was invited to speak to two international conferences. The first one “Linking Science with Design and Technology” took place on January, 2014, at Willowcroft School, Oxfordshire, UK and the second conference, more practical, was titled « Practical Projects Science with Design and Technology”, and took place on January the 9th, 2014, at Birmingham University, UK.

During both conferences, a three-hour workshop was looking at how work in science can be combined with work in design and technology, using the UK ‘High Flyers’ ENGINEER unit as one of the case studies. The sessions were also used as a pilot for the ENGINEER teacher training.